Staying in the Loop: Land Policy and What it Means to Coloradans

 

by Emily Morris
CMC Marketing Intern


There’s been a lot of talk around policy and public lands lately. As citizens of Colorado, lovers of the mountains and seekers of the wild, we’re all concerned with the protection of public lands. Staying informed is one of the best ways to ensure their longevity. With that, here’s a brief on what’s happening in the news and why it matters to Coloradans:

 

1. BLM Planning 2.0 – Equitable Land Regulation

Late last year, the Department of the Interior passed a regulation known as the BLM Planning 2.0 rule. It’s a regulation meant to make decisions related to public lands more efficient, more inclusive of public opinion and more derivative of scientific findings. Under the past system, it took about eight years for the BLM to pass land-use regulations, long enough for the conditions of the communities and land in consideration to have changed beyond the terms of the plan. The decision to overturn this new rule faces an upcoming vote in the Senate after having already passed in the House.

Why does it matter to Coloradans?

Colorado has an abundance of territory in consideration for new land-planning measures, especially in the realm of hydraulic fracturing. Moving forward, the public needs a clear voice in decision-making about the land we use for recreation and the land in and around the communities in which we live.

 

2. Three Million Acres of Public Lands Rescued

In January, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz proposed the “disposal” of 3.368 million acres of BLM land, i.e. selling public land to private entities. After major outcry from a variety of communities connected to outdoor recreation and environmentalism, Chaffetz withdrew the bill.

Why does it matter to Coloradans?

The bill included 93,741 acres in Colorado and 3.368 million total throughout the west — land housing endangered species and historic/cultural resources, as well as land used for recreation. Much of it included parcels within the Gunnison Gorge and the Uncompahgre National Forest, favorites amongst Colorado recreationists.

 

3. Outdoor Retailer Dumps Utah

Ten years worth of frustration with Utah’s public lands policies, plus recent events revolving around Bears Ears’ National Monument and the proposed transfer of federal lands to states, have resulted in the renowned Outdoor Retailer convention dumping Utah for good. The convention will relocate to a state with policies geared toward protecting public lands, and bring a whole lot of economic prosperity with it.

Why does it matter to Coloradans?

We’re happy to see business owners, especially those in the outdoor industry, take a stand for public lands despite possible hits to profit. More specifically to Coloradans, our state is now in the running to host Outdoor Retailer which, according to Colorado Public Radio, draws about 45,000 attendees, 122,000 jobs and $856 million in state and tax revenue every year.

 


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One Response

  1. Jennifer Barnes

    Our public lands are important to us and future generations, public lands should be protected!

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